Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre To Establish Sexed Semen Technology To Improve Livestock Sector
The government has allocated KSh1 billion to the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre (KAGRC) to establish a sexed semen production technology as part of improving livestock breeding. Under the new technology farmers will enjoy subsidized artificial insemination (AI) semens that have an 80-90% probability of giving rise to female breeds.
Sexed semen is transforming the way livestock farming is practiced globally as it allows for production of calves of a specific sex. Sexed semen is widely available now and many dairy producers are using it to obtain more and better heifer calves. According to the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre Board Chairman Dr. Geoffrey Kamau the introduction of sexed semens locally will not only help to improve the quality of livestock breeds but also ensure farmers reap maximum benefit by producing quality meat, milk and other animal products.
Currently, farmers import high quality heifers, for instance from South Africa at between KSh200,000 and KSh400,000 per baby cow. The new technology Kamau says is expected to contribute to a price reduction of below KSh100, 000 per heifer.
The project is expected to attract youth and women interested in embracing agriculture. Among other projects KAGRC is undertaking to enhance breeding and animal productivity in the country include pig multiplication, poultry project, embryo transfer and establishment of the A.I services dairy goat Centre in Kirinyaga County.
Dr.Kamau made these remarks during a signing ceremony where the agency was given an extension of the contract to manage the project.